It’s been a rather eventful aviation week this week with some major airport news reported from Europe, the States and Australia. Here’s what we will cover of this week’s news:
- Frankfurt on strike
- Ethiopian Airlines hijacking
- Security breach creates chaos in Melbourne
- NYC fog delays 7,000 flights
We already anticipated it in a tweet earlier in the week, when we received the following article through MarketWatch:
Frankfurt airport strike should hurt Friday travel – http://t.co/UuX1vR4yNR
— LateDeparture.com (@latedeparture) February 20, 2014
And they were bang on the money as Germany’s largest airport – Frankfurt’s International Airport (FRA) – was thrown into chaos on Friday: A strike by security staff at the airport caused nearly 50 flight cancellations and delayed thousands of passengers, bringing chaos to Europe’s third largest hub, on the busiest day of the week for travelers, reported Reuters. And, according to the article, trade union Verdi had called on around 5,000 staff who carry out security checks on passengers, baggage and freight at the airport to strike for the entire day to push for their pay to be brought into line with counterparts at other German airports.
Earlier in the week; very early Monday morning, European time, to be more precise, CNN broke the story that a co-pilot on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome hijacked the airliner that morning and flew it to Geneva, Switzerland, looking for asylum. According to the article the man, an Ethiopian in his early 30s, was arrested when the plane landed at Geneva International Airport (GVA), police said. The 202 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 767-300 were not harmed, however during the incident, Geneva International Airport was shut down. It reopened later Monday morning.
And – fresh from the press – this morning, local Australian time, an incident at Melbourne’s International Airport (MEL) made headlines in The Australian when the international departures terminal was thrown into chaos after hundreds of passengers had to be rescreened due to a “minor security breach”. Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said in the article the incident had occurred around 9:00am, causing around 1700 passengers to have to be reprocessed and several thousand others to be delayed.
To finish off our round of airport news stories, another ‘delay story’, this time however from the United States when fog reduced visibility at New York’s airports to zero on Saturday, blocking many airline flights from reaching the area and contributing to about 7,000 delays across the U.S., wrote Bloomberg. Planes to New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty (EWR) were held more than two hours in their originating cities, according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s website. Thunderstorms slowed Newark takeoffs more than two hours and snarled Philadelphia air traffic.
On that note, let’s hope for a smoother next week – safe travels!